Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lazarus and the Rich Man - a reflection

nd this is from my nephew, Dennis, over at his site Vita Mea.
It is a reflection he gave after communion today at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Memphis, TN.
He is a seminarian at St. Meinrad Seminary to be ordained to the priesthood this coming Spring.
He was back in his home Diocese for the weekend.

If I had some water,
just a little drop of water,
just enough to cool my tongue,
that’s all I would need.
Just that, said the man, just some water.

Crossover, crossover,
Oh Lazarus come over,
and bring me some water,
dip your finger in the water, and refresh my soul,
said the man.

For I am in torment,
as over and over I thirst for some comfort,
some peace for my soul.

Some water to cool me,
and maybe some music,
that’s all I would need,
just some music like the music I used to hear.
Some song about me,
or people like me,
or the people I wanted to be.

Some water, some music, and a comfortable couch,
some place to stretch out,
with a glass of iced tea,
and a flat screen TV,
to watch the big game,
or my favorite story,
it’s all about me,
or people like me,
or the people I wanted to be.

And a beer. A cold one.
With a lime. Or maybe without.
What the heck. Make it a six. Who’s counting anyway?

Just a beer, and some music, and a flat screen TV. That all I would need.

That, and a new SUV,
a tricked out ride, with all-wheel drive,
customized, optimized,
from zero to sixty,
with more torque and towing power
than any other vehicle else in its class.
With a cupholder.

And maybe a place to plug in my cell.
With wi-fi in HD, with broadband capacity,
with textable smileys, and a flexible calling-plan,
high-speed downloadable point and click happiness.

Just a drop of water, then,
and all the rest, if you please.
That’s all I need.
It’s not much, and if you think about it,
I deserve it.
Not this torment and torture and suffering.

Lazarus, please, come over! said the man.

And Lazaraus looked over,
and called to the man who had never really noticed Lazarus before.
Did you not know me when I was your neighbor,
when I was the stranger who stood at your door,
when I was on welfare,
with inadequate healthcare,
unable to read, or jobless, or poor?

And did you not see me?
Did you never once notice?
I must have asked for your help
in a hundred little ways,
day after day,
with my sadness, my sickness, or my addiction.

We were like family, said Lazarus.
Like family in the way that family ignore one another
and take for granted each other,
not seeing, not hearing,
but grudging and not budging.

Alone and unloved,
teased and made fun of,
unwelcome, unwanted, forlorn.
You said that I was a choice between a woman and her god.
You said I was just a fetus,
not child yet to be born.

You once said that there were too many of my kind,
more than we could possibly need,
and you wondered why “those people,”
those lazy, stupid people,
were allowed to breed.
And so you gave away free condoms at the school.

You called me illegal,
and my children, too,
and said I should go home,
but that as long as I was here,
I could cut your grass or clean your toilet for you,
but really they should do something about enforcing the law.

And now you ask for some water.
Just a little drop of water.
Just a little drop of water to refresh your soul.

But don’t you see the chasm that lies between us?
The trench that divides us?
So wide, so deep, how can I come over?

And the funny thing is,
you spent your whole life digging it.

Seems like we must run out of 'second chances' someday.


Anonymous said...

AWESOME reflection! Sometimes we need to be shaken awake because we get too caught up in our daily grind!!!

uncle jim said...

you said it - i'm still pondering my response

you got a story to share?